Sheltering Resources


Shelter Field Guide

The purpose of the Shelter Field Guide is to provide sheltering best practices to faith-based groups, non-profit organizations, government partners, and private industry. The guide was co-developed by the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency with support of a work group that included all levels of government.

The Shelter Field Guide can be used as a job aid and/or just in time training during a disaster operation.

Download the Shelter Field Guide

Shelter Field Guide FAQ and Ordering Instructions

Print Specifications for the Shelter Field Guide

Multi-Agency Sheltering/Sheltering Support Plan Template (MASPT) (October 2014)

The purpose of the Multi-Agency Sheltering/Sheltering Support Plan Template (MASPT) is to supplement a jurisdiction’s Emergency Operations Plan and/or Mass Care Annex and is intended to provide guidance and suggested procedures for a jurisdiction to consider in the development of a sheltering plan that focuses on their role of managing and/or supporting sheltering activities.

A Guide to Operating Public Shelters in a Radiation Emergency

This document has been developed to assist with planning and response efforts related to shelter operations in a radiation emergency. The following chapters provide information and guidance about screening for radioactive contamination, decontamination, radiation monitoring, registration, health surveillance, and communications.

American Red Cross Shelter Forms

Multiple agencies manage shelters during a disaster, including Red Cross.  Other agencies may be managing a shelter in cooperation with Red Cross, with or without receiving Red Cross support, or they may be managing a shelter completely independently.   Partner Managed Shelters are managed by partners, following Red Cross principles, in cooperation with the Red Cross. The shelter materials posted here by the Red Cross are available for use by any agency managing a shelter.

Operating A Shelter Self Study

The American Red Cross has created this Shelter Self Study Guide to assist partners and individuals interested in the rapid training of shelter workers. This is a large file (14 MB) that is packaged as a Zip file.

Commonly Used Sheltering Items & Service Listing (CUSI-SL) (March 2013)

This is a FEMA catalog of items of commonly used sheltering items, to include supplies, equipment Durable Medical Equipment (DME) and Consumable Medical Supplies (CME). Each item has a catalog number and description. Use of the CUSI Catalog # and description when requesting supplies for general population shelters can ensure that the correct item is ordered and delivered.

Shelter Guidance Aid and Shelter Staffing Matrix – October 2010

This Aid assists emergency managers and those responsible for incident command in analyzing, planning and determining what details may need to be considered when deciding to use a facility for the purpose of sheltering a population affected by an emergency, incident or disaster. It is intended as a general mass care advisory document for sheltering operations from a multi-agency perspective.

Non-Traditional Shelter Concept of Operations Template

This Concept of Operations template is intended  to help local government officials and their response support organizations establish procedures for providing services in Non-Traditional Shelters to persons affected by a large-scale or catastrophic incident/ event or precautionary evacuation.

Non-Traditional Shelter Case Studies

The purpose of this document is to capture pertinent information regarding the historical use of non-traditional sheltering. This compilation of information from previous disaster operations can be used to more effectively plan for and respond to future non-traditional shelter operations.

Mega-Shelter Planning Guide

The Mega-Shelter Planning Guide provides the methodology to update procedures and practices to continually improve the service and operation of a mega-shelter. Knowing that each mega-shelter response is unique, this guide provides the tools to initiate the planning process while acknowledging the criteria necessary for successful operations.

Functional Needs Support Services: Guidance on Planning for Integration of Functional Needs Support Services in General Population Shelters

This document provides guidance to assist emergency managers and shelter planners in understanding the requirements related to sheltering children and adults with functional support needs in general population shelters.

Discharge Planning Resources Toolkit Florida

This online toolkit provides resources for Florida’s local officials, discharge planning team, special needs shelter consultants, shelter unit leaders, nurses or others who may be assigned to take the lead for or assist with discharge planning. Discharge planning is the process that facilitates moving a person from one level of care or health care setting to another, or from a temporary or shelter setting to the community for more permanent placement.

Catastrophic Housing Annex to the 2012 Federal Interagency Response Plan — Hurricane

This Annex describes a concept of operations implementing a paradigm shift for response and recovery operations which focuses on transitioning 500,000 eligible households from sheltering to temporary housing and support for their transition to sustainable housing following a catastrophic hurricane.

Case Study: Shelter Transition Teams  

Submitted by Ryan Logan, FEMA Region IV, Individual Assistance Mass Care Specialist

Case Study: Multi-Agency Shelter Assessment Support Program

Submitted by John Stewart, FEMA Region I, Voluntary Agency Liaison